TU's Blankenship Talks Coaching Changes

Wednesday, January 22nd 2014, 10:17 pm

By: News On 6

TU coach Bill Blankenship formally announced changes to Tulsa's coaching staff on Wednesday. 

Blankenship promoted Denver Johnson to offensive coordinator, added his son Josh as quarterbacks coach, and moved around some other offensive assistants.

Blankenship feels Tulsa's offense needs some tweaking, but not a major makeover.

"As much as our fans and the people that are Tulsa Blue hated last season, trust me, I felt worse about it," Blankenship said.

The numbers tell the story. Tulsa was near the bottom of the country in most offensive categories, including tied for 122nd out of 125 teams in turnovers lost.

"I know we have some things that were broken and need to be fixed," Blankenship added.  "I was here. I had a front row seat to it."

Still, Blankenship says wholesale changes aren't needed. He says most parts of the offense will look the same, and he will still call the plays.

"We can't isolate ourselves just on last season," Blankenship explained.  "We've got to look at all of it. Now, we can't ignore it either. We can't live in 2012, but it was essentially the same structure in 2012 as it was in 2013."

New offensive coordinator Denver Johnson says execution is more important than the playcalling.

"Play selection in my opinion is really way overrated," Johnson said. "They're all designed to work. We're very diligent about taking all the plays that are designed to fail out of the playbook. We only have plays in our playbook that are designed to work...if you're executing well, heck, you ought to be able to pull them out of a hat. When you're not executing very well, it's hard to select plays...that's where we got to last year. We were executing so poorly that there wasn't a good call."

Just five Division I teams were worse than Tulsa at completion percentage last year. Blankenship knows his quarterbacks need to be better; and says his son, Josh, is the right guy for the job.

"No matter who I'd have hired as quarterback coach, I'm still going to be judged on the results," Blankenship said.   "And I know that from the very beginning. With that in mind, I need to put the guy that I believe in the most that's going to give me the most comfort and peace to get it done the same way that we're talking about doing it across the board."

Blankenship says he knows college football is a results business. Time will tell if these moves result in more wins, or more changes.


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